NASSAU, Bahamas — Tawanna Meadows has a heavier neck and wallet after Sunday.
The former Rutherford High School and Troy University standout was part of the gold-medal winning 4x200 relay at the International Association of Athletics Federations World Relays event. The inaugural gathering brought together more than 600 athletes from 43 nations and Meadows was part of the overall women’s dominance by Team USA.
Meadows and her three teammates, Shalonda Solomon, Bianca Knight and Kimberlyn Duncan, finished in 1 minute, 29.45 seconds to edge Great Britain (1:29.61). Team USA earned $50,000 for the victory, from which Meadows will receive a portion of the payoff.
Meadows took the first baton handoff from Solomon. Great Britain held a slight lead after Knight’s third leg and Duncan surged to cross the finish line first. More emphasis was placed on clean exchanges after the men’s 4x200 fumbled the baton on the third leg.
“We had to be patient and the tape is there for a reason,” Meadows told reporters after the race. “The mishaps with the men's team, it put everyone in focus to want to execute and get the handoffs down together.”
The 4x200 gold capped Team USA wins in four of the five women’s relay events, with the 4x1500 finishing second for a national record. Team USA won the golden baton for having the most points based on placement while also taking home a gold in the men’s 4x400 and second-place finishes in the 4x800 and 4x1500.
The IAAF Relays were the only world championship meet of the 2014 outdoor season. The focus shifts to qualifying for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing starting on Aug. 22, 2015, in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.